Alan Wald thought it was odd for the Pacifica Police Department to announce a DUI sobriety checkpoint July 26 at an undisclosed location. But Alan looked into it and found this in the law books:
"It seemed contradictory to me that police would announce the checkpoint but conceal the location, so I did a little homework. A California Supreme Court decision in 1987 (Ingersoll vs. Palmer) requires that 'police conducting a lawful sobriety checkpoint must provide advance notice of the roadblock to the public, although they are not required to disclose its specific location. Publicity both reduces the intrusiveness of the stop and increases the deterrent effect of the roadblock...'
But the most interesting part of the court's ruling for police conducting legal DUI checkpoints is this: 'Motorists who seek to avoid a roadblock may not be stopped and detained merely because they attempted to avoid the roadblock.' In other words, you are allowed to make a legal U-turn when you're, say, 50 feet away from entering a DUI checkpoint. Try it and see."
(For the record, we do not recommend doing U-turns on Highway 1. You could get a ticket for crossing the double yellow line.)
We apologize for our July 23 post about a bomb blast on Monterey Road in Pacifica (post deleted). This incident actually occurred 15 years ago. But in an unrelated incident, an unexploded bomb was found July 22, 2013 on nearby Del Mar Avenue (click link below for police press release). Sorry for any confusion. Get Details Here
"Sharp Park Rd/Skyline Blvd., Pacifica. On sharp park from skyline blvd all the street lamps are flashing - rp believes if it continues it could cause someone to have a stroke. Disposition: Referred To Other Agency." (Pacifica Police report, July 7)
I've seen several 4th of July celebrations on Linda Mar Beach, so I was interested to see how the new policy restricting legal fireworks to specific areas on the beach worked this year. In a word: FAIL.
As can be seen in my pictures above, lots of people were lighting fireworks far outside the specified area, crowded around the mouth of San Pedro Creek. There was no evidence of police presence or any attempt to prevent fireworks being used outside the defined area. In one picture, you can see a couple of fires on the beach. Nothing was done was about this.
Even worse, in previous years, most of the illegal fireworks could be seen going up in the back of Linda Mar Valley or on Pedro Point. This year, lots of illegal fireworks were going up from the beach, right next to the specified area for legal fireworks and sometimes from inside the area. There are a couple of pictures of aerial fireworks going up from the center of Linda Mar Beach. I didn't see anybody arrested or even stopped by the police.
I'll be interested to see the police report for this year's 4th of July. From my perspective, this year's new policy actually made the problem worse.
Since July 1, Linda Mar Shopping Center has had security guards from Universal Protection Service of San Francisco walking the property, handing out flyers to merchants saying that the guards "are available 24 hours a day to investigate suspicious activity, assist in dealing with difficult customers or transients, or any other security related concerns." Their phone number is 650-520-6060. Alan Wald says, "I spoke to the guards. They say they were specifically told to watch for people who park in the lot and then go to the beach."
After a months-long investigation, South San Francisco police have shut down illegal gambling establishments on the 2200 block of Gellert Boulevard and the first block of South Linden Avenue, and arrested the operator, Frederick Zupancic, 53, of Pacifica.
Search warrants were served June 26 and police searched four different sites, including homes in Alameda and Pacifica, according to police. Police say they seized $40,000 in cash, multiple gambling devices, and documentation related to the illegal gambling operation.